Sunday, 4 March 2012

What will Happen next in Iowa?

On Friday Republican Governor Terry Branstad signed a law that makes lying on a job application to get access to a farm facility a misdemeanour punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $US1,500 ($A1,390)

Now all eyes turn to Iowa (and the US) to see what happens next.

In one scenario the law has a chilling effect and the world never sees that state's 19 million hogs and 54 million egg-laying chickens again.

Another scenario is that the rest of the US, and other countries around the world, think that it's a wonderful idea and also enact similar legislation. As Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, said 'he hopes Iowa's action can lead the way for other states to pass similar legislation'

Another possible outcome is that the new law is like a red rag to a bull and animal groups seek to actively test it. Can they obtain work in lawful ways? Can they find workers willing to sell information? Are activists willing to pay the fine and/or do the time? Do the laws violate freedom of speech rights?

My feeling is that this is not the last time we will see inside Iowa's many factory farms - stay tuned!

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